A roundtable discussion and conversation featuring Pooja Rangan (Amherst College), Akshya Saxena (Vanderbilt University), and Pavitra Sundar (Hamilton College), co-editors, with Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan, of Thinking With an Accent (University of California Press, 2023).
Thinking with an Accent brings together leading and emerging scholars of media, literature, education, law, linguistics, sound, and politics to theorize accent as an understudied lynchpin of the global cultural economy. It reframes accent as a powerfully coded and yet unthought mode of perception—one that, properly harnessed, can yield transformative modalities of knowledge, action, and care. Accent, the anthology shows, does more than denote geographic, ethnic, or social identity. Accent emerges through listening, mobilizes negotiations of power, and enacts desiring relations. To think with an accent is to practice a dialogical and multimodal inquiry that unfolds the tensions of address within mediated utterances. Panelists will discuss the emerging field of interdisciplinary Accent Studies and the coproduction of the edited volume. Rangan is Associate Professor of English in Film and Media Studies at Amherst College and author of Immediations: The Humanitarian Impulse in Documentary (Duke University Press, 2017). Saxena is Assistant Professor of English at Vanderbilt University and author of Vernacular English: Reading the Anglophone in Postcolonial India (Princeton University Press, 2022). Sundar is Associate Professor of Literature at Hamilton College and author of Listening with a Feminist Ear: Soundwork in Bombay Cinema (University of Michigan Press, 2023).